Tag Archives: Mies van der Rohe

Dirty truths of modernism

Sometimes truth comes out of the mouths of babes. Other times it comes out of the mouths of potty. That does not make it any less true, and since truth on any topic is a rare commodity, Paul Joseph Watson’s … Continue reading

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Will the real Seagram Building please stand up?

On Sunday I posted “Tom Wolfe and Henry Reed,” and to my mortification was informed by a reader that the Seagram Building was not the building in the photo I used to illustrate the piece. I plead guilty. Who could … Continue reading

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Tom Wolfe and Henry Reed

I have been finishing up my book Lost Providence, girding my loins on the adrenaline rush of Tom Wolfe’s 1981 bestseller From Bauhaus to Our House. How to select a great passage to quote? Well, one way is to quote … Continue reading

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Less is more … or a bore?

Happy belated birthday (it was June 24) to Robert Venturi, avatar of the postmodern movement in architecture and the self-appointed rebutter-in-chief to arch-modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his infamous dictum. In the battle of slogans, “Less is more” … Continue reading

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Hitler’s revenge on America

The journal Places has published, as the inaugural installment in its Future Archive series of forgotten writing of the past century, a 1968 essay for Art in America by Sibyl Moholy-Nagy called “Hitler’s Revenge.” The essay is introduced by Despina … Continue reading

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Shubow’s fine Bulfinch talk

Justin Shubow’s recent talk in Boston, the first annual Bulfinch Awards Lecture, was delivered in the afternoon before that evening’s gala, thrown by the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art to celebrate the eight Bulfinch … Continue reading

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Reflect the Pan-Am Building

Few things are, I believe, more ridiculous than the frequent claim that glass buildings “reflect their context” by mirroring their neighborhoods in their glass façades. It does not happen, or even seem to happen, except when the sun is just … Continue reading

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Style vs. form balderdash

Justin Shubow, the provocative head of the National Civic Art Society, has posted a segment from a 1996 book review by the late Paul Malo of Roger Scruton’s The Classical Vernacular: Architecture in a Time of Nihilism, which I recently … Continue reading

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The satisfactions of Satie

Erik Satie is a French composer of whom I know little, but am very familiar with one of his pieces, the first of his three “Gnossiennes,” which I suspect most readers will recognize as well. It is the first video … Continue reading

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Dump on Seagram Building

Martin Pedersen, the critic and former Metropolis editor who co-wrote a blistering attack on modernism in the New York Times last December, has loosed an excellent fusillade against the Seagram Building, completed in 1958. Writing in the Fast Company blog, … Continue reading

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